New pumping station will be the boutonnière of Copenhagen’s biggest cloudburst project



Gottlieb Paludan Architects are the architects behind a new pumping station at Kalvebod Brygge in Copenhagen, aimed to safeguard the capital city against the increasing volumes of storm water of the future. The project was carried out for HOFOR in close collaboration with NIRAS’ consulting engineers.

The City of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg Municipality have prepared a cloudburst plan as part of the City of Copenhagen’s overarching climate adaptation plan. Storm water from cloudbursts will be channelled from Frederiksberg and the Vesterbro district to Copenhagen Harbour by gravity via an underground cloudburst tunnel to a pumping station at Kalvebod Brygge. The pumping station’s six powerful electric pumps will lift the massive volumes of storm water roughly 12 metres up from the tunnel, before discharging it into the harbour basin.

Gottlieb Paludan Architects designed the above-ground pumping station structures, comprising the biggest visible component of the new cloudburst tunnel. Above ground, the pumping station is made up of two circular structures mirroring their subjacent counterparts, and the adaptation of the underground pumps required close, constructive collaboration with NIRAS. The two circular structures appear distinctly separate but intermesh into a single unified building.

At Kalvebod Brygge, the circular shape and low height of the pumping station stands out from the surrounding office and hotel buildings. The pumping station will have a brickwork facade, however, similar to several surrounding buildings, and special recessed brickwork will give the facades a profusion of details for a diminished visual effect. The building will occupy a section of the harbour promenade, which will therefore be enlarged to include terracing that will provide new publicly accessible seaside areas.

Window sections facing the harbour promenade will make it possible for passers-by to look into the pumping station, visually communicating the station’s functions and technology.

It is anticipated that the pumping station will be needed roughly once every five years during particularly heavy cloudbursts. In these instances, the pumping station will prevent flooding in Copenhagen that would otherwise cause widespread damage.

The underground boring of the cloudburst tunnel is expected to begin in May 2021 and be completed in 2022, after which the pumping station will be built.

Read more about the project here (in Danish).